The CDC came out with a report recently, citing troubling results in regards to suicide. They said that, between the years of 1999 and 2016, suicides continuously rose in just about every state — “Suicide rates went up more than 30% in half of states since 1999.” They also made a clarification: “More than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known mental health condition,” dismissing the idea that it is only a problem for those with mental health problems. There can be many contributing factors, and the CDC mentions finance, legal or work stressors, substance abuse, relationship issues, or a personal crisis as some of the very ordinary causes of serious depression that can lead to self harm.

Read the CDC report here — it has several infographics that are very informative and easy to understand.

Here are some of the other key facts:

  • Approximately 45,000 people committed suicide in 2016.
  • 54% of suicides did not have a known mental health condition.
  • Of that 54%, the primary reported factor for suicide was relationship problems. The second was a “crisis in the past or upcoming two weeks,” and the third was substance abuse.
  • The most common ways of suicide in both with or without diagnosed mental health conditions was with a firearm. Suffocation and poisoning were also common.
  • The highest rates of increasing suicides appear to be in the northwest and the midwest, in states like Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and North and South Dakota. These states have had an increase of suicide between 38 and 58% since 1999.
  • The states with the least amounts of increase appear to be southern border and/or coastal states, like California, Arizona, New Mexico, Florida and Georgia. These states have seen an increase of 6 to 18% since 1999.
    (Note: These statistics measure the rates of increase, not to be confused with overall suicide numbers)

All of these harrowing statistics are more than just numbers for the many who knew and loved someone who has taken their own life. However, this CDC report was once again made a reality as the death of Anthony Bourdain has shocked the world. Despite his rocky history with substance abuse as a young man, by all accounts Bourdain embodied a lifestyle that many could only dream about. In 2016, he told Biography.com that, “I became successful in my 40s. I became a dad in my 50s. I feel like I’ve stolen a car – a really nice car – and I keep looking in the rearview mirror for flashing lights.” He was an icon that inspired travel and a respect for other cultures, and he illustrated those things through a medium he loved — food.